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Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
Wednesday 8th June 2022

Asked by: Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat - Kingston and Surbiton)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department made of the impact of not including unpaid carers in the autumn covid-19 booster programme on (a) those carers and (b) the people they care for.

Answered by Maggie Throup - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) provides the Government with independent advice on COVID-19 vaccinations, based on its risk assessment. The JCVI’s interim advice on autumn booster vaccinations allows the National Health Service, care homes and other health services to undertake operational planning. The JCVI will provide its final advice on the appropriate patient cohorts for the autumn programme in due course.


Written Question
Disability Aids: Children
Wednesday 1st June 2022

Asked by: Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat - Kingston and Surbiton)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 16 March 2022 to Question 137964, if he will publish the joint letter sent on 15 December 2021 to all local safeguarding partners and local authority CEOs from Ministers in the Department for Education, Department for Health and Social Security and the Home Office.

Answered by Gillian Keegan - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

A copy of the letter is attached.


Written Question
Medical Equipment: Children and Young People
Friday 27th May 2022

Asked by: Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat - Kingston and Surbiton)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to implement care pathways for the provision of equipment for children and young people with complex needs, similar to those provided for under the Joint Protocol for the Provision of Children's Equipment in Scotland.

Answered by Gillian Keegan - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

There are currently no plans to do so. The provision of services to meet the medical and healthcare needs of children and young people with complex needs is the responsibility of the local National Health Service. This includes the provision of any medical equipment, such as special beds, bed equipment, hoists and aids to help with incontinence, mobility or hearing. NHS Supply Chain are the main provider of equipment and consumables, although providers are free to source from other suppliers.

Under the Care Act 2014, the local authority is responsible for providing any non-medical care services a child or young person is assessed as needing. This could include equipment for daily living. The provision of such equipment is subject to a Care Act Assessment of needs by the relevant local authority, which is strength-based and seeks to optimise independence and safety.


Written Question
Disability Living Allowance: Children
Wednesday 25th May 2022

Asked by: Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat - Kingston and Surbiton)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many children under three years are receiving the DLA care component under special rules in England.

Answered by Chloe Smith - Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

Quarterly statistics for the number and age of children in receipt of the highest rate care award of Disability Living Allowance, with a main disabling condition recorded as Terminally ill, are published on Stat-Xplore here:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk

Guidance for users is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html


Written Question
Community Health Services: Children and Young People
Tuesday 24th May 2022

Asked by: Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat - Kingston and Surbiton)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department plans to take to tackle delays in the provision of community health services, including therapy services and the provision of wheelchairs, orthotics, prosthetics and equipment for children and young people, as a result of covid-19.

Answered by Gillian Keegan - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The provision of community health services, including for children and young people, is the responsibility of local systems, such as clinical commissioning groups and local authorities.

On 11 January 2022, NHS England and NHS Improvement published ‘Community services prioritisation framework’ to support local systems in managing COVID-19 pressures. It contains guidance to support local decision-making on the relative priority of services, including the provision of wheelchairs, orthotics, prosthetics and equipment for children and young people. Since 1 March 2022, it is expected that all community services are operational and local systems are responsible for continued service recovery and reductions in waiting times.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have requested that providers outline plans to reduce community service waiting lists. This information is being reviewed to support providers with service restoration in community health services. National service development funding and growth in local systems’ core funding allocations will support systems to increase overall capacity, address waiting lists and develop and expand new models of community care.


Written Question
Disability: Children
Monday 23rd May 2022

Asked by: Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat - Kingston and Surbiton)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's 2022-23 priorities and operational planning guidance, published in December 2021, how that guidance will operate to reduce the community service waiting lists for disabled children and their families.

Answered by Gillian Keegan - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Following publication of updated operational planning guidance in February 2022, NHS England and NHS Improvement requested providers to outline plans to reduce community service waiting lists. This information is being reviewed as part of planning to support providers with service restoration in community health services.

National service development funding, alongside growth in local systems’ core funding allocations, will support systems to increase the overall capacity of community services to provide care for more patients, address waiting lists and develop and expand new models of community care.

NHS England and NHS Improvement published the Community Health Services Prioritisation Framework on 11 January 2022. This set an expectation that community health services, including therapy services and the provision of wheelchairs, orthotics, prosthetics and equipment for children and young people which have been delayed or paused as a result of COVID-19, should resume from 1 March 2022.


Written Question
Children: Social Services
Monday 23rd May 2022

Asked by: Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat - Kingston and Surbiton)

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department plans to take to enforce the duties for assessment of children in need that local authorities must meet, as outlined in the Working Together to Safeguard Children statutory guidance.

Answered by Will Quince - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)

Ofsted produces guidance, ‘inspecting local authority children’s services’ (last updated April 2022), which sets out a framework for inspecting local authority children’s services to assist inspectors to be consistent in their inspections while having regard to local circumstances. Among other things, the inspections cover the effectiveness of local authority children’s services to help and protect children including those at risk of harm, with the focus on the experiences of children and young people; the effectiveness of leaders and managers; and the quality of professional practice.

The guidance is clear on what steps will be taken if services are found to be inadequate, including the intervention powers of my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education.

The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/inspecting-local-authority-childrens-services-from-2018/inspecting-local-authority-childrens-services.


Written Question
Energy Supply: Disability
Thursday 28th April 2022

Asked by: Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat - Kingston and Surbiton)

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has set targets for energy suppliers to meet in regards to identifying and supporting disabled customers.

Answered by Greg Hands - Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Ofgem already has measures in place to require energy suppliers to support disabled customers. These include protection from disconnection during the winter, and the provision of additional support through a Priority Services Register. Ofgem monitors compliance with their rules protecting vulnerable consumers. Their most recent report is available at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2021-10/Ofgem%20Consumer%20Protection%20Report%20Autumn%202021_Final.pdf.

Under the Warm Home Discount scheme, Ofgem provides a breakdown in their annual reports of the Industry Initiatives supporting fuel poor and vulnerable households through measures that include benefit entitlement checks and debt write-off. The 2020-2021 report is available at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/warm-home-discount-annual-report-scheme-year-10.


Written Question
Energy Company Obligation: Disability
Thursday 28th April 2022

Asked by: Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat - Kingston and Surbiton)

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has been made of the financial impact on individuals affected by the decision to remove support for disabled people through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme.

Answered by Greg Hands - Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

ECO4 has been designed to focus support on households with the lowest incomes and alleviate fuel poverty. This will include households with disabled people on the lowest incomes. The scheme is designed to improve the energy efficiency of homes, through the installation of insulation or heating measures. Households benefitting from improvements could save an average of £300 per annum.


Written Question
Warm Home Discount Scheme: Reform
Wednesday 27th April 2022

Asked by: Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat - Kingston and Surbiton)

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will reverse planned reforms to the Warm Home Discount eligibility criteria so that all those in receipt of Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance are eligible for that support.

Answered by Greg Hands - Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Introducing non-means-tested benefits, such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA), into the eligibility criteria would mean that many households on lower incomes and in deeper fuel poverty would lose out.

Around 62% of PIP and DLA recipients also receive one of the qualifying means-tested benefits and so would be considered low-income under the Core Group 2 criteria. Those households with high energy costs would be eligible for a rebate. Recipients of AA, a pension-age benefit, who claim Pension Credit Guarantee Credit will in most cases qualify for a rebate through Core Group 1.